Eat Your Coffee CEO and Co-founder Johnny Fayad was in college in Boston when he helped come up with the idea to make energy bars. He and his co-founder were in the same accounting class during his freshman year. As typical busy students, they didn’t have time to make breakfast or coffee. When they realized there was a significant need among their peers for “cleaner options for caffeine,” as Fayad told PYMNTS in an interview, they got the idea to make caffeinated snacks.
The snacks were well-received – people liked them and kept buying them. They kept selling out of the bars, so they took a step back to think about how to scale the concept. They officially launched their business in 2015. Today, Eat Your Coffee sells energy snack bars made with real coffee. Although students still enjoy the bars, the target market has evolved to include young professionals and fitness enthusiasts.
Those who have challenges with acid reflux also like the company’s bars, Fayad noted, because they are less acidic than brewed coffee. One of the company’s customers, for instance, hasn’t been able to drink coffee due to reflux; after trying and loving the Eat Your Coffee’s bars, she has ordered thousands of units.
The company’s caffeinated snack bars come in flavors such as fudgy mocha latte, peanut butter mocha and salted caramel macchiato. Its line of caffeinated snack bites comes in flavors like cocoa espresso and pumpkin spice. Both products are available through the company’s eCommerce website, where consumers can make a one-time purchase or take advantage of the subscription offering, which allows for delivery every 30, 45, 60 or 90 days at a discount.
Eat Your Coffee accepts credit cards as well as express checkout options, including PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
When it comes to standing out in the market, Fayad said the company is “pioneering this like-new category in caffeinated natural snacks.” He believes the main differentiator is that the products are made with real coffee and provide real energy to keep consumers alert and energized, making them a great pre- or post-workout snack. The bars have roughly 80 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to approximately a cup of home-brewed coffee.
To promote its products, Eat Your Coffee gets in front of influencers and bloggers, and also does a fair amount of advertising on Facebook and Instagram. They also use event marketing at occasions such as triathlons, targeting endurance athletes and sporting enthusiasts who need a snack to help with their performance.
When it comes to timing, Fayad noted that caffeine and energy products have been around for decades, but they have typically been laden with sugar or ingredients that consumers don’t understand. Convivence stores offer all kinds of energy shots, energy gum or caffeine tablets, but Fayad said they are mostly made from artificial ingredients and have little to no nutritional value. Eat Your Coffee aims to offer healthier options made from real ingredients, with a caffeine source consumers can trust. And unlike a hot cup of coffee, their products offer the convenience factor of never spilling and fitting easily in a consumer’s gym bag to power their workouts (or their days).